Redbourn: A nurtured community

PUBLISHED: 18:02 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:47 20 February 2013

Pat Schofield on the High Street

Pat Schofield on the High Street

As residents in Redbourn prepare for the horticultural high season, Jo Arthur meets a woman who knows the green-fingered way to invigorate a village

TO many, tending a garden is purely a personal pleasure, but Pat Schofield feels that green fingers can benefit the whole community.

In 1999 Pat and a number or fellow Redbourn residents joined a committee formed to find interesting ways to celebrate the new millennium.

'It started off as a sub-committee of the Millennium Committee and grew from there,' Pat explains with no pun intended.

How the former St Albans district councillor, parish councillor, trustee of the Playing Fields Trust and member of the Redbourn Care Group thought she could find time to join the group she now doesn't know, but the whole village has reaped the rewards of her enthusiasm to gain recognition of Redbourn's efforts outside the county.

Pat was asked to attend and accept an award on behalf of St Albans at the annual Anglia in Bloom competition. On her return from the event, she discussed the prospect of the village holding its own local contests and organising open garden weekends (which have been held on alternate years ever since) and so Redbourn in Bloom began.

Every year the village, with a population of 6,000, is entered into the Small Towns category of the regional competition.

'We haven't won the category yet, but we have received lots of commendations and are improving all the time,' Pat says.

There are more than 60 households signed up eager to receive regular updates about the events and trips organised throughout the year by what is now the Redbourn In Bloom Horticultural Society.

In nurseries, primary and special schools, projects to nurture flowerbeds and vegetable patches have proved a hit. Drawing competitions on various gardening themes used to promote events, such as the annual Horticultural Show, also keep the youngsters interested.

The cart that sits outside the fire station, a key floral feature of the village, is the culmination of the efforts of a group of people who volunteered to restore the former museum exhibit and then enthusiastically roll it down the road into position.

Each year a different colour scheme is employed, deep blue, orange, yellow and white are the chosen hues for 2007. Residents are encouraged to incorporate the year's colours into their designs, but very often each has their own idea of the garden they want to create.

Article taken from June issue of Hertfordshire Life

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